BB0913 : Two Churches, a Pulpit and a Cherry Picker

Thursday 23rd April 2009

I donít know why it should be but it seems that when plumbing things start to go wrong in old houses, they go wrong in bulk.  And then the puttings-right start to go wrong.  The sequence started with minor annoyances like overflows leaking and taps dripping.  Then the boiler failed; only it hadnít really- it was the oil meter that had given a false reading so we ran out of oil.  A toilet started weeping from the tank.  It was repaired, which seemed to work until the tank cracked and the toilet kept on flushing water into the lounge below. Following which, the boiler really did pack up so we decided that it was time it was changed.  The new boiler arrived but was the wrong size and it would take a week for the new one to arrive.  The old one had, of course, been removed by now.  Fortunately the weather is warmer so the lack of heating is not too great a problem.

The new boiler needed a new chimney liner, which meant a cherry picker was needed in order to fit it.  I was just getting ready for todayís walk when the phone rang.  The cherry picker delivery wagon driver couldnít get down the little lane that leads to our house.  Or to be more precise he feared that if he did, he would not be able to reverse back out, so please could the plumbers come and collect the cherry picker from the road in the village. However the plumbers had not arrived and I was the only available cherry picker driver.  It was quite fun, driving the monster slowly down the road and negotiating it through our gateway, from a driving position some thirty feet in the air!  However, it serves to explain why I wasnít exactly ready when Pete arrived on time despite there having been a crash on the M6 and why we were a little late setting off on the pick up trail.

We have had some glorious weather over Easter but it had started to go off and the mountain forecast recommended staying in the south east of the Lake District. Consequently, we decided it was time to revisit the Howgills.  The plan was to explore the area to the northwest of The Calf.  On our way to Four Lane Ends where we intended to park, we were taken by surprise by the appearance of an attractive small church we had never noticed before.  Probably as it was down a road we had never travelled before!  

Holy Trinity Church at Howgill is in an idyllic setting by a stream but was strangely uninteresting inside, despite some old boards.  It was perhaps too modern internally with a flat ceiling.

Holy Trinity Church, Howgil

Across the beck

It was surprisingly chilly when we reached Four Lane Ends.  Stan took that as an excuse to add an extra base layer but we think he just wanted to strip to show off his tan secured by two weeks on Tenerife.

The Lune Gorge from Four Lane Ends

Bryan and I had a debate as to whether to go up the Calf and circle left (my intended route) or the reverse, which he advocated.  In the end we decided that as the tops were covered in mist that should clear, it would be better to start via the Calf.  Once the decision had been taken, Stan started muttering about Bryan having made the wrong decision and that we should have gone the other way.  Stan- mea culpa, not Bryan, but we thought you liked autocratic decisions!

The folds of the Howgills

The route took us up Long Rigg Beck and then up the nose of White Fell.  Tony was finding that eight pints in Glasgow the day before is not the best training for a steepish pull!  It is, however, a delightful area with the meandering folds of the valleys.

The path up White Fell to The Calf

As we neared the top, the mist got thicker and there was a cold wind blowing on The Calf.

We headed east to drop into the top of a valley to get some respite whilst we had lunch.

Because of the lack of visibility we abandoned the thought of exploring the area to the northwest, preferring to stick to the better known combination of The Calf, Calders and Arant Haw and then returning to the valley via Swarth Greaves.  

Team picture on The Calf

Mist starting to clear on approaching Arant Haw

I particularly enjoyed the descent and really felt the Howgill effect- a great sense of freedom- itís gentler than the Lake District, much more grassy yet in some ways wilder, probably because its largely unbounded by walls.  And of course, by now, some hours behind schedule, the mist was starting to clear from the tops!

Tony had asked that we visit Foxís Pulpit on the return.  I took a wrong road and found another little church, St John the Evangelist at Firbank.   

St John the Evangelist's Church, Firbank

Inside St John's Church

This is very similar in appearance to that at Howgill and with a superb view.

The view from St John's across to the Howgills

We soon picked up the right road and found the rocky outcrop where in 1652 George Fox had enthralled a congregation of a thousand seekers for three hours.

Tony managed rather less, both in terms of time and folk!

On arriving home, I found the cherry picker neatly parked.  

It turned out it wasnít big enough- and a larger monster would arrive in the morning so the chimney could be reached and the flue liner fitter.

Tony address the seekers

A latter day George Fox?

I could not help but reflect that had George Fox been alive today, there wouldnít have been the need for the thousand or so folk to traipse across the moor for a convenient high rock to serve as a pulpit.  

All he would need to do is hire a cherry picker and any old field then launch himself thirty feet into the air from whence he could delight the assembled throng for hours on end.

Provided it was big enough, of course!

 Don, 24th April 2009



Thursday 24th April 2009


7.7 miles

Height climbed:

2,502 feet

(Walks on the Howgill Fells)

The Calf, Calders, Arant Haw

Other Key Features:

Side Pike


If you have Memory Map on your computer, you can follow our route in detail by downloading BB0913.

For the latest totals of the mileages, heights and Lakeland Fells Books Wainwrights see: Wainwrights.

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!


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BOOT boys

This page describes an adventure of BOOTboys, a loose group of friends of mature years who enjoy defying the aging process by getting out into the hills as often as possible!

As most live in South Lakeland, it is no surprise that our focus is on the Lakeland fells and the Yorkshire Dales.

As for the name, BOOTboys, it does not primarily derive from an item of footwear, and certainly not from any skin head associations or other
type of social group,
but is in memory of
Big Josie,
the erstwhile landlady
of the erstwhile Burnmoor Inn at Boot in Eskdale,
who enlivened Saint Patrick's Day 1973
and other odd evenings many years ago!

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2009 Outings

  • BB0901 : A Gordon Day Out
    Thursday 8th January
  • BB0902 : Thank You,
    Aunty Ethel!
    Wednesday 14th January 
  • BB0903 : A Wicked Hike???
    Wednesday 21st January
  • BB0904 : Take a Mug With You
    Sunday 25th January
  • BB0905 : Down in the Forest
    Thursday 29th January
  • BB0906 : Not How But Where?
    Thursday 5th February
  • BB0907 : Binsey Can Wait
    (but Uncle Monty Can Not)
    Thursday 12th February
  • BB0908 : Badgers on the Line
    Thursday 5th March
  • BB0909 : It's not a W!
    Thursday 12th March
  • BB0910 : Up on the Roof
    Thursday 26th March
  • BB0911 : Not the Blisco Dashers
    Thursday 2nd April
  • BB0912 : John's Comeback
    Monday 6th April
  • BB0913 : Two Churches, a Pulpit and a Cherry Picker
    Thursday, 23rd April
  • BB0914 : Companions of the BOOT
    Thursday 30th April
  • BB0915 : The Gale Force Choice
    Thursday 7th May
  • BB0916 : The Comeback Continues
    Thursday 21st May
  • BB0917 : BOOTboys Encore !
    28th May - 2nd June
  • BB0918 : Hello Dollywagon
    Thursday 11th June
  • BB0919 : Has Anyone Seen Lily?
    Thursday 18th June
  • BB0920 : Ancient Feet on the Greenburn Horseshoe
    Thursday 25th June
  • BB0921 : The Tebay Fell Race Walk
    Thursday 2nd July
  • BB0922 : For England and St George 
    Thursday 9th July
  • BB0923 : The Coniston Outliers
    Friday 31st July
  • BB0924 : Little To Be Said In Favour?
    Thursday 6th August
  • BB0925 : The Third Night of the Rescue 
    Thursday 13th August
  • BB0926 : Long Wet Windy Monty Bothy Fun?
    Thursday 20th August
  • BB0927 : Dear Mrs Scroggins
    Friday 11th September
  • BB0928 : An Ard Day's Hike
    Thursday 17th September
  • BB0929 : A Canter of Convalescents?
    Thursday 24th September
  • BB0930 : BOOTboys International Autumnal Expedition
    Wednesday 23rd to
    Sunday 27th September
  • BB0931 : A Bit of an Adventure
    Thursday 1st October
  • BB0932 : Paths of Glory?
    Thursday 8th October
  • BB0933 : When Yorkshire Was Welsh
    Wednesday 14th October
  • BB0934 : Unlocking the Whinlatters
    Thursday 22nd October
  • BB0935 : A Tale of Crinkley Bottoms
    hursday 5th November
  • BB0936 : Aye Up What?
    hursday 12th November
  • BB0937 : Where Eagles Wade
    Tuesday 17th November
  • BB0938 : After the Floods
    Thursday 26th November
  • BB0939 : The Mystery of the Missing Glove
    Thursday 10th December
  • BB0940 : A Too Short Walk
    Thursday 17th December
  • BB0941 : One Hundred and Onesfell
    Tuesday 29th December



  • BH0901 : Back to the Beginning 
    Thursday 13th August
  • BSKIB09 : BOOTskiboys in Saalbach
    14th - 21st March
  • BB09XX : Los Chicos y las Chicas de la Bota
    11th - 14th May
  • BB09Bav01 : Peaked Too Soon
    1st September



Click on the photos for an enlargement or related large picture.



To download a log of which Wainwrights have been done by which BOOTboy in the "modern" era, i.e. since the advent of BOOTboys click on Wainwrights

If anyone wants to claim other peaks, please let me know and I will submit them to the adjudication committee!



 BOOT boys